The Tallinn Literary Centre presents: Siuru 100

© Kirjandusmuuseum / Estonian Literary Museum
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Venue: Estonian Writers’ Union (see on map)
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Original language: Estonian
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One of the most famous visual depictions of Estonian literary history is, without a doubt, the photograph taken of the literary group Siuru a hundred years ago. Of many photos taken of Siuru’s varying lineups, definitely the best known is one showing August Gailit, Hendrik Visnapuu, Johannes Semper, Artur Adson, Marie Under and Friedebert Tuglas (and a little sculpture between Adson and Tuglas). Although obviously posed, the photo is full of dynamism and tension. Of course, the first standout is Under, gracefully reclining on a pillow. It is also one of the few photos showing the couple, Under and Adson, together, but without the latter being in full Page mode, and looking at the camera instead – it can even be said that in the photo, Tuglas, not Adson, is close to Under. The only one ignoring the camera is Visnapuu. All gentlemen are wearing suits and flowers on their lapels, except Semper, who is in uniform and without a flower – however, he is wearing a magnificent moustache and perhaps the most confident look of all. There is a faint smile on the lips of Tuglas, an even fainter one on the lips of Under, while the rest are looking serious. If one were to ask today’s literary people which moment they would love to travel back in time to, it is possible that many would choose the photograph described above. What was going through the heads of these young writers and what was happening around them? This will be discussed by literary scholar Toomas Haug, film director Raimo Jõerand, and writer and literary scholar Jaanus Vaiksoo, who will also take enthusiasts for a walk in the footsteps of Siuru.

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